The Des Moines Register from Des Moines, Iowa on July 26, 1969 · Page 6
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July 26, 1969

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The Des Moines Register from Des Moines, Iowa · Page 6

Des Moines, Iowa
Issue Date:
Saturday, July 26, 1969
Page 6
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6 S»»., July 26, An I inlv pendent /VenMfwi/»pr C.MSHM H TMUI.I- /Vi- JOHN Cnwii.N (.lininiKin nj tl\r. MAflHiNAT.n, Etlitor nnd Publisher DAMN Kin:it)i.Mi.ii, (icnrrnl Manager A. KDWMID III.INS, Mannalng Ediinr 1,M III.N Soril. Kililnriiil /'o«c Kditnr I.iii:is II. Nonius, Huunesi Manager Denial of Appeal Leon H. Nepple must, wonder what, if anything, the right to appeal means in Iowa. Nepple, serving a five-year term in the Fort Madison penitentiary for larceny of domestic animals, has been denied an appeal solely because his court- appointed attorney failed to file necessary papers. The attorney. Lee Famswnrlh of Dcni- son. repre.senii'd Nepple at his trial and filed notice of appeal to Ihe Iowa Supreme Court. The courts rules require that an abstract of the trial record be furnished 90 days after notice of appeal, to be followed by the filing of briels and arguments 45 days later. Despite a reminder from the attorney general's office that the papers were due, nothing was filed to perfect Nepple's appeal. In accordance with Supreme Court rules, the attorney general's office filed a motion last March for the court to dismiss Nepple's appeal. The court dismissed the appeal April 7 and Nepple was picked up and sent to prison. A District Court judge recently appointed another attorney to sec what could be clone in Nepple's behalf. H isn't clear that anything can be done. The attorney general's office takes the position that Nepple had his chance for an appeal and the case is closed. That sounds like strange justice, denying an appeal because of an attorney's failure. * + * The Nepple case should move the Iowa Supreme Court to adopt new rules governing criminal appeals. The present rules arc an outgrowth of the unsatisfactory "clerk's transcript" appeals system struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1967. Under that system, if an attorney failed to file an abstract of the record and other papers necessary for an appeal, the accused received an appeal anyway. The Iowa high court merely reviewed whatever miscellaneous pa- I'-rs were in (lie file — the "clerk's transcript" — and almost invariably upheld the conviction. The U.S. Supreme Court held that review on the "clerk's transcript" did not provide a true appeal. The new system adopted by the Iowa Supreme Court eliminates automatic review on the "clerk's transcript" when an attorney fails to file papers for his client. Instead, attorneys who believe their client's case is groundless are directed to notify the court and follow a procedure for withdrawing from the case. The court then has the option of appointing another attorney. But if an attorney does not withdraw and does not do anything for his client's appeal, the case is simply dismissed. This is what happened in Nepple's case. The evil of the "clerk's transcript" appeals system was the denial of a full- dress appeal because of the inaction of an attorney. In many cases, the attorney's failure to press the appeal was without the client's consent or knowledge. This is precisely what happened to Nepple. He wanted an appeal and thought he was getting one, but the attorney's failure to follow through on the case prevented him from obtaining an appeal. * * * The right to appeal is too precious to be lost through the inaction of an attorney. Dismissal of an appeal because of inaction is punishment for the client for matters that are not of his doing and not under his control. The Iowa Supreme Court should revise its appeal rules to prevent a repetition of the Nepple case. The requirement that appeals be perfected on time should be made binding on attorneys, and the client's right to appeal should be preserved in cases where attorneys breach their obligation to the client. The court itself should undertake close supervision of appeals to make certain that the right to appeal is fully honored in Iowa. Realtor Responsibility The Iowa Civil Rights Commission has urged that real estate firms stop utilizing the "choose your neighbor" sales device, which it feels is often used to perpetuate race discrimination in housing. The Iowa Real Estate Commission, local real estate boards and realty firms should co-operate with the Civil Rights Commission on this issue. The plan consists of real estate men contacting neighborhood residents with a card that asks, "How would you like to choose your own neighbor?" They are told a house is vacant in the neighborhood and are asked to refer interested friends and relatives to the agent. This is done before the house is advertised generally to the public. M Real estate men who use the "choose your neighbor" plan may not have a discriminatory purpose, but the practice can be discriminatory and lends itself to denying Negroes access to the housing market. Friends and relatives of residents of all-white neighborhoods in ef- fect get a preferred first crack at available housing. This situation is analogous to the one created several years ago by the use of questions about race and religion and requests for photographs on application forms. These may have been solely for record-keeping and identification, but they also had obvious discriminatory uses. Requests for photographs and questions about race and religion have now been eliminated or the information obtained with anti-discrimination safeguards because of the possibility for abuse. The same possibility for abuse exists in the use of the "choose your neighbor" sales device. Real estate men should not want to give even the appearance of engaging in a discriminatory practice, which is contrary to the spirit of fair housing laws and to public policy. Voluntary adherence by them to the recommendation of the Iowa Civil Rights Commission is the soundest course. Truth About Alcoholism Senator Harold Hughes's willingness to overlook the second "A" in "AA", the one calling for anonymity among those fighting alcoholism, led to some clear- eyed advances in Iowa. The former Iowa governor, by speaking openly and often of his successful struggle to overcome alcoholism, dramatized the human resources which could be saved through an effective alcoholism prevention and treatment program. As a result,, Jpwa has the only state- sponsored anti-alcoholism program and Des Moines has one of the two detoxification centers in the country. The other one is in St. Louis. Hughes is continuing this constructive candor in Washington. He sou'ght the chairmanship of a new Senate subcommittee investigating problems of alcoholism and drug addition. At the subcom- m i 11 e e ' s first hearings this week, Hughes spoke forcefully of the terrible misery and waste produced by excessive drinking. Also at the hearing, Des Moines Municipal Judge Ray Harrison, another former drinker, described his courtroom Alcoholics Anonymous classes and how they have saved men from being dunked repeatedly into the city's drunk tank. One man stopped drinking after being arrested 500 times for public drunkenness. Alcoholism is a disease, not a crime. This is not a new view. In 1804, Dr. Thomas Tcotter, an Edinburgh physician, wrote that the "injudicious and ill- timed chastisement of officious friends" had "driven many unfortunate inebriates to ruin that might have been reclaimed by a different method" under the control of a physician. Even now, 165 years later, this view is only slowly being accepted. The government spends only a few dollars of the billions produced by liquor taxes on programs to treat those being destroyed by the liquor. Poor Ambulance Service The need fur adequate ambulance standards in Iowa is dramatically confirmed in two recent studies. One, by Johnson County Medical Examiner T.T. Bozek, indicates that 18 auto accident victims brought to Iowa City hospitals in the last 18 months may have died because of poor ambulance service. How this could happen is suggested in the second study, by Lyle Shook of the University of Iowa Bureau of Police Science. Shook found that half the private ambulance operators in the state provide no resuscitator or suction, equipment to aid patients who are choking or unable to breathe. Half do not even provide simple first aid. The typical ambulance in rural and small-town Iowa. Shook said, Is a station wagon with a red light and a cot — mere transportation. The reason is primarily economic. Fees from highway accident victims will not support a good ambulance service. Generally the attendant is paid the legal minimum wage and is likely to be untrained. Lack of revenue translates into lack of essential but expensive life-saving equipment. Two bills introduced in the first, session of the Sixty-third General Assembly and pending for the 1970 session would require minimum standards for drivers, attendants and equipment. Shock's survey indicates that these standards could not be met by at least half of the ambulance services in Iowa. Enactment of reasonable standards would hasten the discontinuance of private ambulance service. Dozens of funeral homes have gone out of the ambulance business in the last several years. This trend could force counties and cities to accept a responsibility they have avoided. A county hospital might be a good base for a countywide or multi-county ambulance service. Personnel could fill other duties between calls. An ambulance would be an extension of the hospital services. One good source of qualified personnel might be army medics back from Vietnam who have saved lives in emergencies. But such men are not likely to work for $1.60 an hour. Pay will have to rise to get competent people. Emergency ambulance service clearly is a public responsibility. Sometimes it can be contracted to suitable private operators, as in Des Moines, but if that cannot be done, cities and counties must provide the service themselves. Once-Hopeful Chile Regime Falling Apart By Richard Alfred WASHINGTON, D.C. - Chile's ruling Christian Democratic Party is in a state of disarray. It's anyone's guess whether the party can pull itself together in time to avoid disaster in next year's presidential elections. j Five years ago, the I C h r i s t i an Democrats were riding high. The party was hailed — especially in the United I States — as the wave of the future in Latin America, a progressive democratic force which would -in the words of its leader, Eduardo Frei — lead a "revolution in freedom" for Chile. Frei was widely credited with having "saved" the country from the spectre of Communism by defeating Communist- Socialist candidate Salvador Allende in a bruising struggle for the presidency. Disappointing Candidates Today the party looks toward the September, 1970, presidential elections with dismay. By a constitutional provision, Frei cannot succeed himself as chief of state. The party's potential candidates — announced and unannounced — have so far proved disappointing. Several months ago, the front-running Christian Democrat was left-leaning "Richard Alfred" is the nom de plume oj two newsmen, Richard Schroeder and Nathan Haverstock, both of whom have had more than 10 years experience in Latin American affairs, and travel in the area several months each year. Schroeder has directed information programs /or the Organization of American States and the Alliance for Progress; Haverstock /was Latin American editor of the Saturday Evening Post and has written three books on Latin America. Radomiro Tomic, Chile's ambassador to the White House. Tomic resigned his diplomatic post and returned home to seek electoral support. But he committed early what struck most party insiders as a drastic error. He openly wooed Communist votes and finally announced he would not run without Communist support. The announcement estranged him from important sectors of his own party. The Communists delivered the coup de grace when they rejected Tomic. Pushed Valdes To fill the void left by Tomic, Frei began pushing to the fore Gabriel Valdes, his suave, silver-haired minister of foreign relations. In May, Chile was host to a meeting at which 22 Latin American nations drew up an extensive list of demands for changes and improvements in hemisphere relations. Valdes was given the prestigious task of presenting the document to President Nixon. To add to the Christian Democratic woes, the party took a pasting from the centrist National Party in last March's congressional elections. The top-heavy favorite to move into the post of president next year is aging (72-year-old) Jorge Alessandri, a former president, who still commands the nostalgic support not only of his National Party, but also of the rank-and-file Chilean voter. To try to repair the damage, President Frei has just called home Patricio Rojas, the dynamic young chairman of the Inter-American Cultural Council. Rojas, a political stripling at 36, has spent the past year in Washington, putting together an impressive hemisphere- wide program for the development of education and science under the Organization of American States. First Task Frei quickly named Rojas minister of the interior, a post .which, in Chile as in many other Latin countries, carries with it responsibility for,leadership of the ruling'.political party. Rojas," a. former leader of the Chilean Students Federation, becomes the youngest interior minister in the history of the country. His first task, as he sees, it, will be to try to bring together the disparate elements of the party that have fragmented as successive candidacies have failed. Tomic returned from a vacation almost simultaneously with Rojas' arrival, leading to speculation that Frei may have asked Rojas to begin his building job by trying to resurrect the Tomic candidacy. For all his youth and vigor, Rojas, in the view of most political pros, is faced with an almost impossible task. The most the party can hope, they think, is for some semblance of unity in the face of a probable electoral defeat in 1970. If Rojas can alleviate some of the internecine bitterness that plagues his party, he will have done well. •Ml life* ^f»f ***^ •**"" '^""'*" ~~*-"#' Manrise NIXON'S GREAT DILEMMA- On to Mars by Year 2000, f' Or Keep Earth Livable? RICHARD WILSON By Richard Wilson (Rtfltttr't Wiihiniton Corrtipondenl) EN ROUTE WITH NIXON - As President Nixon watched the splash-down of Apollo 11 in mid-Pacific and then traveled on to Asia he found himself under growing pressure in his own Administration to revise drastically the priorities of war and space. Nixon's around-the, world tri p has more symbolism in it than | celebrating a great technological achievement and finding a new policy in Asia.^ There are some in his Administration who would be happy if this around-the-world journey marked the end of a period in which war and space exploration led the list of national priorities. Attempted Reassurance The issue is coming down toward the simple question of placing men on Mars in this century or building the houses the nation needs and solving the problems of poverty. It is not quite so simple as that, but this choice will serve to illustrate the nature of the conflicting pressures on Nixon. During the moon adventure and now as he goes on to Asia President Nixon shows himself aware of the nature of this choice. He is trying to reassure the leaders of Asia at the same time he must be fully aware that only by pulling out and cutting the cost of the Vietnam commitment will it be possible to go ahead at the desired speed on the new priorities of housing, transportation, welfare and environmental improvement. In the same context he will have to hold back on the truly astronomical costs of the Mars project if the domestic programs are to achieve the necessary velocity. One Cabinet member, Secretary of Housing George Romney, is openly advocating a revision of priorities to downgrade space ami give such programs as housing a priority equal to what the moon project enjoyed during the past 10 years. Other high officials fear that the national exuberation over the moon success will build up uncontrollable pressure for more manned probes into the universe. This anxiety was increased by the bravado statement of Vice-President Ag- new, chairman of the Aeronautic and .Space Council, that we should not shrink from committing ourselves to sending men to Mars by the year 2000. Possible • To Do Both? By the year 20CX), however, Secretary Romney hopes that more money will have been committed to the solution of the housing problem than was spent on the moon project. Now is the time to make the decision, to do it. Nixon, however, has been basking in the moon glow and is not so likely to be impressed by the argument that we have done the moon thing so let us now go on to more important matters like making this planet livable. The signs are that Nixon will in the end be influenced by his conviction that it is possible in a measured way to improve life on our part of the planet at the same time we reach out for the stars. This sounds reasonable and logical except when it is considered that we have the rest of eternity to go to Mars but the solution of many domestic problems just cannot any longer be held in abeyance. Can't Escape Pressures » Housing for example, is crucial in improving race relations. We are probably only doing half as much in this field as we ought to be doing. The problem grows progressively worse. Housing costs are going up at the rate of one per cent a month. Every factor involved in housing costs makes it more difficult day by day for low-income people to live in decent surroundings. The maintenance of privately owned housing by middle-and high-income people is also growing more difficult. There are some who say that if these trends continue, the construction and ownership of single detached dwellings will become a thing of the past. Such pressures are pursuing President Nixon around the world and he cannot escape them or divert public attention with flourishes of world statesmanship. It is all tied together: The extent and cost of our world commitments which are becoming increasingly unbearable and the scope and depth of domestic problems which are becoming increasingly unbearable. By traveling around the world in a hurry Nixon may be able to freshen his own perceptions of the problem. Worth Repeating.... t> '•*, From o statement by Senator Gaylord P. Nelson (Dem., Wis.) in the Progressive Magazine. T HIS COUNTRY has a long background and heritage as peaceful people. I hear so often the charge that we have become a welfare state. Now, if you measure these matters just in terms of money — not in terms of philosophy but just in terms of money — the amount spent on the military and the amount. spent on welfare, wej are much closer to being a warfare state | than a welfare state. In the brief period of' six years that I have been in the Senate, no military budget has been subjected by the Congress — or by the public, either — to really critical evaluation. We have passed $70 billion budgets with ten minutes or an hour of discussion, and whenever some of us attempted to do something about modest amendments to the military budget, it was a foregone conclusion what the result would-be. We defaulted — the Congress and the public — in all matters of judgment on the military budget, on the theory that the military knew best and that we really were dealing with purely military matters and not with political matters. This has been our great mistake. In the past three years, however, there has been a dramatic change: The military has lost its status of infallibility. This has been the lesson of our experience in Vietnam. If we could turn the clock back to the spring of 1965 and if we had the benefit of foresight, is there a soul in the United States who would, now advocate converting our mis- "sion in Vietnam from one of technical aid and assistance into a land war? We relied upon military judgment and fell victim to colossal miscalculation. Distinguished military men testified at the time that the infusion of 50,000 to 75,000 troops into Vietnam would bring Ho Chi Minh to the peace table. That indicates how lacking in understanding they were of the nature and character of the war. That is why I, as one'of three in the U.S. Senate, voted against the original $700 million appropriation and all appropriations to escalate the war in Vietnam. I think Congress — or a good percentage of Congress — now recognizes that we have defaulted in our responsibility. I think a good part of the public now recognizes that, and they are asking that Congress and all the rest of 'the country participate in evaluating what we are doing, why, where we are going and what for. What Iowa Papers Are Saying 'Cheap Tax' Race Feared (WtttrlM CowMr) The Washington County Board of Review has reduced the value of the new Crane Co. plant there 'from $5.6 million to $2.5 million. This was done after State Senator David Stanley (Rep., Muscatine) argued that an industrial plant should be valued for tax purposes at "market value." The assessed value would be 27 per cent of that figure. This , argument is ridiculous and should not be tolerated. This is a new plant and the actual cost is known down to the last dollar. It. is true that the law says property — except farm property — shall be assessed at market value. But the law also says that other factors are to be used in cases when there are not enough sales to establish the market value on a comparison basis. Industrial plants are sold so infrequently in Iowa that comparisons cannot possibly be used in establishing the market value. This means that replacement cost minus depreciation must be the primary factors in fixing tax values for such property. The issue is important because the action, if allowed to stand, will provoke a race among Iowa communities to see which will give the best tax break for new industry. Drives to attract industry are so competitive that the community wh'ich cheats (even to the detriment of all other taxpayers in the tax district) has an unfair advantage. Obtaining new industry is of overwhelming importance to Iowa and all- forms of taxation must remain competitive with other states. But a new industry which does not pay a fair share of taxes is no asset to a community. For these reasons the Washington County decision should be reversed. The Iowa Revenue Department should assist in taking the issue to court. Change Something? Easier to Hit Moon (John McCormatly in Burlington Hawfc-Eyo) The argument persists that "we shouldn't be going to the moon when we need the money for so much here." The argument is appealing. But it is based on false premise — that it is a lack of money that prevents us from doing what our consciences tell us. I presume the moon critics are talking about eliminating the human misery that results from racism, poverty, urban congestion, air and water pollution, crime and ignorance. All those ills could be attacked with far more vigor and overcome far more successfully than they have been — if we really wanted to. Money is no deterrent, moon landing or no. This country is rich enough to remake itself any way it wishes, -limited only by the sacrifices its people are willing to make to pay the bills. What are the ingredients of the moon program success which are lacking in regard to other programs?" First: Determination. President Kennedy said we were going to land a man on the moon find return him safely in this decade. No ifs, ands or buts. There has never been, by our leaders or by the people, any comparable commitment that we are going to end segregation, eliminate slums, or clean up the air and water, or invest whatever it takes to control crime. Second: The moon program did not seriously inconvenience anyone. In contrast, cures for earthly ills do threaten our prejudices, endanger our profits, feed our fears. Third: The moon program was entirely new. Most earthly problems are so familiar that they are approached with ready-made excuses, Go to any meeting in Burlington that's exploring a radical community change. Most of the meeting will be devoted to reasons why it can't be done. In the moon program, no one paid any attention to the excuses. When It's Damp Along the Cedar... (Stewart HIM in Ctdor Falls Record) The Cedar River basin must have looked like a happy hunting ground on earth to Indians. The West Fork, Shellrock and Black Hawk rivers fed the great Cedar which ran swift and clear over a sandy bottom. The Cedar basin was the watering hole for game. Indians only had to walk as far as a man could throw a pebble to find meat for fheir wickiups. When the game mpved on, the Indians moved, too. And when rains fell and the waters threatened the wickiups, Indians took them down and moved to another place. The white man came. He, too, thought the Cedar basin was fine place to live. Houses went up near the river and in what once were marshes. H. M. Letson says he recalls hunting ducks in (wo areas where houses now stand. Cedar Falls settlers came to stay, and their grandchildren aren't going to be chased away by high water. But the area sits on a powderkeg. City Parks Director Dick Bruns «ays that a two-inch rain in the basin could bring floods any lime. The ground is so saturated, even in the higher areas, that you could reach the water table with a post-hole digger. There doesn't seem to be much 'that can be done to tame the river without gigantic expense. Residents can avoid building in poor drainage areas, design their new homes accordingly, or buy a sump pump like everyone else. Or they might take a clue from the Indians. Wickiups, anyone?

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